The year 2023 had come and gone with many downturns and hiccups that retarded economic growth. Experts said to reposition the economy, Nigeria must oil its industrial sector and propel a production-driven economy to strengthen the naira, reduce heavy reliance on foreign exchange and boost liquidity in the forex market.
As 2024 kicks off, Nigeria and Nigerians look forward to many corporate companies and individuals to drive the economic transformation of the country through local production in order to reduce inflation, which has reached the ceiling in recent times, as well as reduce the current multidimensional poverty through reduction in the cost of living.
Chronicled below are 10 companies whose business exploits are projected to make a huge difference in Nigeria’s economic landscape in the new near.
Excitement has greeted the commencement of operation at the $19billion Dangote Refinery. This is understandably so because of the hardship Nigerians have been enduring since the removal of petrol subsidy by the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
Dangote recently revealed that Agbami crude oil was delivered to his company via MT ALMI SUN, thus enabling the refinery to meet the stocks required to test-run its operations.
The refinery has started receiving its first one million barrels of Agbami crude grade from Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCO).
Dangote Oil Refining Company, where the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has 20 per cent stake, has started preparing for the test running of the plant.
The managing director of Dangote Ports Operations, Mr Akin Omole, had said:
“Once the 6million barrels are fully delivered, it will facilitate the initial run of the refinery, as well as kick-start the production of diesel, aviation fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) before subsequently progressing to the production of a premium motor spirit (PMS),”
Dangote Refinery is expected to producea 650,000 barrels of oil per day (BPD). It is an integrated refinery project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria. It is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility.
Speaking on the development, the executive chairman, African Energy Chamber, NJ Ayuk said, “We were excited about the delivery of millions of barrels to Dangote Refinery. This is a significant milestone, both for the country and the West African region. With a capacity to produce 350,000 barrels per day, the refinery holds a particular significance for the country, where reliance on fuel imports has been a defining feature for decades despite its over 37billion barrels of proven reserves.”
Oil marketers are already planning to meet the management of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in order to ensure the seamless supply and distribution of refined petroleum products to be produced from the $20bn facility.
BUA’s additional 6m tonnes of cement capacity is being seen as a game changer. 2024 is especially a year that would hopefully ignite pleasant expectations because BUA Cement intends to bring an additional six million tonnes a year (t/y), of cement capacity online by the first quarter through the commissioning of new lines at its Obu and Sokoto factories. This, in addition, would increase the company’s total installed production capacity to 17million t/y.
The chairman of BUA Cement, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said the additional capacity would help to alleviate the pressure on cement prices and availability in Nigeria.
“The completion of lines 3 and 5 in Obu and Sokoto respectively will empower us to offer better prices and more significant quantities of cement to the domestic market, thus strengthening our market share across Nigeria and Africa. I am confident in BUA Cement’s ability to play a role in reducing cement prices in Nigeria,” he said during the presentation of BUA Cement’s 2022 financial results on August 31.
The firm recorded a 40.3 per cent increase in revenue in 2022 to the tune of N361.9billion. Profit after tax grew by 12.1 per cent (N101.0bn).
In June, BUA Cement secured a $500million financing package from the IFC to fund the expansion of its Sokoto plant in northern Nigeria.
BUA Cement is Nigeria’s second largest cement company after Dangote.
May & Baker to launch 7 new products in 2024
A pharmaceutical manufacturing company, May & Baker Nigeria, is one of the companies to look out for in 2024 because of the crucial gaps that need to be filled in the pharmaceutical sub-sector of the economy following the exit of GSK in 2023.
Prices of drugs have been reported to have hit the rooftop as a result of the exit, which has left the vacuum to importers, forcing prices out of the roof.
However, the managing director of May & Baker Nigeria, Patrick Ajah, disclosed that the company was making investments towards new product development across a broad range of therapeutic areas.
He sought the intervention of the federal government to make the importation of drug manufacturing machines duty-free, as well as the removal of customs tariff on some medical products so as to import them at a lower cost.
Ajah said the measures would encourage pharmaceutical companies operating in the country.
“I mentioned that we were going to launch seven. We actually have in our pipeline, over 20 products, but it is not easy to register all of them with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). We already have like seven that are concluded, which we can launch next year; and a whole lot of other things,” he said.
Seplat ANOH Gas
This company is expected to reduce Nigeria’s carbon intensity and increase energy supply to domestic market.
ANOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC), an incorporated joint venture between Seplat Energy and NNPC Gas Infrastructure Company (NGIC) Ltd, is delivering the ANOH gas plant with a phase one processing capacity of 300mmscfd.
Upon commencement of operation, the plant will deliver dry gas, condensate and LPG to customers. It is envisaged that AGPC would sell the gas and LPG domestically, and the condensates to the international market.
ANOH is one of Nigeria’s most strategic gas projects. It will help Nigeria to accelerate its transition away from small-scale diesel generators to cleaner, less expensive fuel, such as natural gas for power generation.
Other key steps to first gas as outlined in the company’s interim results announcement were the drilling and hook-up of the upstream wells and completion of essential third-party infrastructure: the OB3 pipeline river crossing and Spur Line connecting OB3 to the gas plant.
The completion of the third well (ASSN-05) was previously announced. The fourth and final well (ASSN-06) planned ahead of the first gas has also been completed by the upstream unit operator, SPDC.
Nigerians are now looking forward to the completion of the necessary plant pre-commissioning activities and essential third-party infrastructure, which will enable the commissioning of the gas plant and commencement of operations.
The chief executive officer of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown said, “ANOH is an important strategic project for Seplat. It will roughly double our gas production. And we are focused on the path to the first gas.
“ANOH’s gas will further reduce Seplat’s and Nigeria’s carbon intensity and increase the energy supplied to the Nigerian domestic market.”
NNPC to restart Port Harcourt, Warri, Kaduna refineries
Nigeria expects its four oil refineries to be operational by the end of 2024, with Port Harcourt plant starting as early as January.
In 2022, the government said the Port Harcourt refinery would start processing crude at the end of that year. However, successive oil ministers and NNPC Ltd executives had announced a series of unsuccessful plans to restart, revamp or expand the refineries.
The four state-owned refineries with a combined 450,000 barrels per day, 110,000 barrels Kaduna plant in the North and three units in the oil-rich Niger Delta, including the 125,000 barrels Warri refinery, have been shut down for years.
The Port Harcourt refinery is undergoing a $1.5billion upgrade after Italy’s Tecnimont was awarded the contract to carry out the work in 2021.
The country is now pinning its hopes of ending fuel imports on the combined efforts of a 650,000 barrels per day refinery by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and the 450,000 four state-owned refineries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, in December 2023, inspected the ongoing refurbishment at the two-unit 210,000 Port Harcourt refinery.
Lokpobiri said, “From what we have seen here today, Port Harcourt refinery will come on board by the end of the year. Our objective is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation,” Lokpobiri said, adding that two other facilities in Warri and Kaduna would start processing crude between the first quarter and the end of 2024.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, imports almost all its refined fuel needs due to inadequate capacity and poor maintenance.
APMT Terminals, Apapa, the biggest logistics terminal in Nigeria, specializes in handling containerised cargoes.
The terminal is part of AP Moller-Maersk and operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port networks that are unique and positioned to help both shipping and landside customers grow their businesses.
APM Terminals took on the concession for the Apapa container terminals in Nigeria about 17 years ago and has invested over $438million in facility upgrade in the country’s port system.
In June 2023, APMT received the largest container ship to ever call at the Lagos port complex, Apapa, the Singapore-flagged Kota Contik, a 6,606 TEU container ship.
It has also invested in both frontline and office-based employees, providing growth and career opportunities in and outside Nigeria.
Lekki Deep Seaport
The Lekki Deep Seaport is a multi-purpose deep port in the Lagos Free Zone and is the only currently operating deep seaport in the country, having started full commercial operation in April 2023. It is the largest seaport in Nigeria and one of the biggest in West Africa.
Lekki Port is to be expanded to have a capacity of handling around 6million TEUs of containers and a significant volume of liquid and dry bulk uncontainerised cargoes. The port is to be equipped with ships able to transport over 14,500 containers.
The port, referred to by many as the game changer, is financed by private investors and a consortium of banks that have funded the project with $1.5billion as at March 2021. The seaport is to occupy up to 90 hectares of land.The port started commercial operation in April 2023.
It mainstreamed in 2023, during which the Lagos State governor, Sanwo-Olu, promised to expand the roads to the port to six-lane highways to ensure seamless evacuation of cargoes.
The economic impact of the project would translate to revenue from duties, royalties and taxes at $201billion and also a direct/indirect business impact of $158bn, according to the ICRC.
The Nigerian government owns 5 per cent shares, while the Lagos owns 20 per cent and the Lekki Port Investment Holding Inc owns 75 per cent through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV- Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited).
The project is built in a strategic location in Lagos. Its flexible and optimised layout and modern facilities give Lekki Port a competitive edge over any other port facility in the West African region.
Air Peace, which is currently the largest airline in West and Central Africa, is one of the companies to look up to in 2024, going by its ongoing expansion drive, which would see London coming on stream this year.
It has a network of 21 domestic routes, eight regional and six international destinations, with an increasing modern fleet of over 30 aircraft, including five brand new Embraer 195-E2s and a latest firm order for five brand new Embraer 175s.
The plan to expand into London is expected to be a big deal in the air transportation market in Nigeria as it would be the only Nigerian flight on the highly lucrative London route. Despite the busy nature of that route, Nigerians have been complaining about the high fares charged by the British carriers and other foreign airlines flying to London.
However, Air Peace’s entry into the route is expected to crash fares, while deepening competition.
Norrenberger Financial Group
Norrenberger is an industry-leading integrated financial services group that provides individuals and institutions with a wide range of financial products, including asset management, private equity, development finance, investment banking, pensions, security trading, insurance, digital banking, among others.
The financial group has eight subsidiaries – Norrenberger Securities Ltd; Norrenberger Pensions; Transkredit Finance Company Ltd; IEI Insurance Ltd; Fadeth Microfinance Bank; Norrenberger Investment and Capital Management Ltd; The Infrastructure Bank, and Norrenberger Advisory Partners Ltd.
The company, last year, launched its entrepreneurship fund, targeting 5,000 youths with a N500m start-up grant and intends to implement it in 2024 and expand the grant to N5bn in the coming years.
Also, the company launched the Turbo Fund as an open-ended collective investment scheme registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 2024, the fund is targeted toward investors with the capacity to stay invested for a long period, institutional investors, including pension fund administrators, insurance companies, corporate entities, public sector agencies, and other asset managers who seek to diversify their portfolio holdings and earn attractive returns.
AA Rano is an oil and gas company in Nigeria known for retail distribution of PMS, DPK, AGO, LPG and lubricants.
The oil conglomerate was founded by a Kano-born businessman, Alhaji Awwalu Rano.
He built his first retail outlets in Kano State in 1996 and incorporated AA Rano Nigeria Limited in 2002.
The company has over 600 trucks servicing its over 115 retail outlets across the country.
The company has acquired a vessel, constructed a 56-million-litre tank farm facility and is also constructing a 20,000-metric-ton LPG plant in Lagos.
AA Rano has a broad plan of building its own 45,000 BPD crude oil refinery in the New Lekki Free Trade Zone Area of Lagos State.
The company has been experiencing an unprecedented growth in recent years, which is evident in the construction of its 60million litres tank farm in Lagos, Nigeria and commissioning of its newly acquired vessel (Mt. Hajara).
One of the subsidiaries of AA Rano is Rano Air, founded in 2019. It is one of the fastest growing airlines in Nigeria.
The airline acquired five of EMB 145 aircraft, with its operation base in Abuja; and it is intended to operate into different locations in Nigeria: Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Yola and Asaba.
Other subsidiaries of the company are Rano Gaz (LPG), Rano Lube and Rano Commodity.
Credit: Daily Trust